As I’m typing this out, it’s 5:00AM, and I’m sitting in the lounge letting my computer and phone charge. According to the AC, it’s 30˚C (or 86ˆF), so I’m definitely bringing my hand fan everywhere I go for the next two months.
There are some things that I didn’t expect in Beijing. When they said it would humble us, they weren’t kidding. I didn’t expect the bed to be as hard as it actually is, but I use the duvet cover they give us both as a mattress pad and as a cushion for my knees, so that’s okay (I also brought my own flat sheet in case I wanted some light coverage). I should have expected the rooms to have a monthly limit on free wattage, so one can’t have the AC running all the time. Coming from a person that lives in Orlando, where you can suffer from heat exhaustion outdoors and then near-hypothermia indoors in the same day, this will likely acclimate us to the heat and humidity more easily, but the stuffiness in the rooms will take more to get used to. Mosquitoes are apparently only a problem when you keep your door and window open, and my roommate has a little plug-in device that will take care of any stragglers (because I’m a bit paranoid about bites since I didn’t get a ton of vaccines, that will likely be a birthday present to myself :laughs:). This trip will be about making things work with what you’ve got, and being able to live like a Beijing student, which is part of the whole experience anyway.
One packing tip for ladies: it is just too hot here for a full face of makeup. I brought my go-to eye-shadow palette in case we needed to dress up, but I don’t think I’ll have the endurance even for that. So, I’d recommend bringing only your favorite concealer and powder to set, eyebrow pencil, waterproof mascara, waterproof eyeliner (if you can’t live without it), and tinted lip balm. If you use a BB or CC cream, make sure it has SPF (it is summer, after all), and make sure it’s really light if you’re prone to acne like I am.
The orientation activities really start up today (6 June) and truly end one week from tomorrow (14 June). I was planning to go to the zoo or the aquarium on the weekend of my birthday (13 June), so hopefully that works out in my favor. The sun is rising as I finish this, so I’m going to go and get ready for the day ahead. I still can’t believe I’m in Beijing, and I can’t wait for what’s to come!
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am a rising senior at Tulane University, studying Anthropology and Asian Studies with a Russian minor. In my spare time, I enjoy writing dark supernatural fantasy novels as well as science fiction. I am also a hopeless geek, so if you're into LORD OF THE RINGS, FIREFLY, STAR WARS, or RATCHET & CLANK, feel free to talk with me about it!</span></div>